I’m pretty sure it’s totally normal for people to have regrets. Although, I wouldn’t really know because I don’t have any.
No one does anything other than what they want, whether it’s related to a short term or long term goal. Anytime a person is presented with a situation, they weigh all possible options (even if it’s only subconsciously) and then take action. How can you regret something when it was your choice to make? Every choice that you’ve made was based on the information and knowledge that you had about the world at that time. You did your best. Now move on.
I believe that everything on this planet is connected and everything happens for a reason. Maybe you regret leaving that party early because your friend got really drunk and made her own bad decision. You can’t regret leaving early because I truly believe that it had to happen that way. If you feel badly, change that into positive energy in the form of a lesson learned. Next time you’ll know not to leave a friend. You couldn’t have possibly known something bad was going to happen and you can’t blame yourself for making the best decision you could based on the information you had at that time. Now that you’ve experienced a situation of that nature, you’ve learned something new you can now apply to a future situation.
If you made a choice and now you regret it, like taking a certain subject in school, then change! I’ve heard far too many people in my life say that it’s “too late” to change majors or that they’re “too old” to start learning gymnastics. Screw that! If you decide that you want to study a whole new field after you graduate, then do it! If you wish you’d taken gymnastics as a kid, find an adult beginners class! There is no such thing as “too late”.
There is also no such thing as wasted time. If you “wasted” time in school on a major you hated, now you’ve learned a very valuable lesson because of it and one can hardly call a life lesson a “waste” of time. If you were in a marriage that ended badly, those were not wasted years. You must have loved each other at some point, and just because it ended badly doesn’t mean the whole experience was bad. There must have been good days too. You can’t let those be tainted by a negative outlook on the person now. You had fun once. Just because a marriage only lasted 10 years doesn’t mean that those ten years were wasted. They were part of your life journey and lesson that you needed to learn.
I think we all need to learn to leave our regrets behind and start fresh with a useful new life lesson in hand. What do you regret?